Ch’an Chu (Money Toad, Money Frog, Moon-Frog)

This iconic image of three-legged toad Chan Chu jealously guarding treasure is regarded as a prosperity charm the world over. Chan Chu is a character from Chinese folklore, the companion of the Taoist immortal Liu-Hai.* Chan-chu was a mythical beast who provided the sage instantaneous transportation. As the legend goes, the toad frequently sought the cool darkness of wells, and could only be lured from such sanctuary with a string baited with coins. The symbolism of the well is probably an allusion to reflection, as Ch’an Chu is a personification of the moon, his three legs symbolic of its three phases. In some stories, she is the wife of an immortal who steals an elixr of immortality and is punished by being transformed into a toad. Small statuettes of Chan Chu are frequent components of Feng Shui prescriptions for prosperity and luck. These are traditionally placed inside the doorway of a home of business, facing inward.

 

Liu Hai with his companion

*In Japan, Liu-Hai is known as the shape-changing sage Gama-Sennin (Kosensei).

Related Symbols:

Maneki NekoManeki Neko

 

Keywords: Luck, prosperity, moon, money

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